18 Nov 2021
Despite all the good will, the COP-26 meeting wasn’t able to deliver outcomes matching the urgent “code red” action needed to achieve the Paris Agreement target.
Representatives from our neighbours in the Pacific condemned the outcomes as “watered down” and a “monumental failure” that put their nations in existential danger.
Science shows we have about eight years left to almost halve global greenhouse gas emissions to stand a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5C. COP26 landed on 2.4C. It’s not enough, so we all need to try and reduce emissions from our own footprints on Earth / Papatūānuku.
Wright Communications (New Zealand) has reduced our footprint by 32% from our base year total of 15.39 tCO2e.
We've just been certified Toitū Envirocare carbonzero for the fourth consecutive year, purchasing 11 gold standard credits to offset the unavoidable emissions associated with our business activity. But it’s not about offsets. It’s about reducing our actual emissions every year. It’s hard! With a small footprint you’ve got to get creative about how to reduce it further.
Greenhouse gas emissions are categorised into three groups or 'Scopes' by the most widely-used international accounting tool, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the reporting company. Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s supply chain.
We at Wright Communications have committed to a 68% absolute scope 1 & 2 reduction by 2025, as well as a 50% scope 1, 2 & 3 absolute reduction by 2025. So, we need to get our emissions from 10.44 of this year down to a miniscule 7.68 by 31 March 2025. Given the average household in New Zealand generates about 14 tonnes of carbon each year, this is already a small footprint for a team of 12 people working out of the CBD. But we need to go further and faster. We achieved 29% lower emissions than last year, but that’s hardly surprising with mandated working from home and zero air travel and car use.
Once we return to the office we’re going to have to get smarter about our use of carbon. Do we really need to own hybrid vehicles or should we utilise Toyota's City Hop cars on an as needed basis? This would reduce our Scope 1 emissions. Scope 2 emissions are already nil as we purchase Ecotricity NZ’s carbon neutral electricity. So, we have to tackle the smaller but not insignificant Scope 3 emissions i.e. the supply chain. We need to partner with courier companies that are on the same journey as us. What options do we have for reducing our packaging waste further? We compost our minimal food waste so it's hard to improve this further.
Our biggest impact is our value chain – the support we give companies that are larger than us, and the authenticity and verve with which we tell their sustainability stories to drive change that will make a bigger impact on the nation’s carbon bill. But we will also keep striving to make incremental improvements to meet our ambitious carbon targets and make our business operations as sustainable as we possibly can.
We feel privileged to partner with Sustainable Business Council NZ Climate Leaders Coalition The Aotearoa Circle Sustainable Business Network. Collaboration is the key to Aotearoa’s sustainable future. And these organisations are unified and committed to the pursuit of sustainable prosperity, and to reversing the decline of New Zealand’s natural resources. These organisations set the standard and motivate us to lead on climate action. Through partnering with them, telling the stories of companies that are leading by example, and proactively looking at how to innovate and improve our own efficiency as a team, we are doing what we can to reduce emissions.
Give us a call, send us a message or call in and see us. We’d love to hear from you.